Oct 25, 2017

Lloyds not ‘compelled’ by government to acquire HBOS

Lloyds Banking Group was not told by the UK government to acquire HBOS despite the stricken bank being on the verge of collapse, its ex-finance director has told the High Court. He was asked about the days leading up to Lloyds' decision to acquire HBOS in September 2008 and said the government had signalled it would clear competition hurdles around the deal provided it was announced within days. "We were not told to acquire HBOS . . . or effect a rescue. That was not our responsibility," Mr Tookey told the court, adding that Lloyds was not "Compelled" to do the deal despite the fact HBOS was facing near collapse and possible state nationalisation. Mr Tookey said at one stage Lloyds had considered whether it would be better to see if HBOS would be nationalised and then seek to pick up the best parts of the business. The combined Lloyds HBOS ended up being 43 per cent owned by the taxpayer after a state bailout in 2008.

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